Living Sacrifice

 

Romans 12:1 By the mercies of God…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Because of God’s mercy through Jesus once and for all sacrifice, we are able to make our life a sacrifice and a daily worship.  Peter Chrysologus wrote in the fifth century, “Take up the sword of the Spirit.  Let your heart be an altar.  Then with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice.  God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by offering your free will.”

The third century North African bishop, Cyprian, wrote once to reprimand a wealthy woman in his church who made no offering of her resources for the care of the poor but who presumed nevertheless to show up at the communion table.  From Cyprian’s perspective, the poor and rich alike must spend themselves on others.  This is the concrete self-gift of the church, the gift celebrated in the Eucharist.

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